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There's a different
MR Coil designed for
every part of the body.
(Courtesy of Toshiba)

DOTmed Industry Sector Report: MRI Coil Sales & Service Companies

Joan Trombetti

This article is from in the November 2007 issue of DOTmed Business News. A list of registered users that provide sales & service can be found at the end.

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There are a limited number companies that sell, service and refurbish MR coils. Many, but not all, of the OEMs manufacture their own coils, and some have their own coil refurbishing division. The market for MR coils has grown to about $300 million annually worldwide. The coil market has also been consolidated through acquisitions. For example, about a year ago Philips Medical Systems purchased Intermagnetics, a leading MR magnet and coil manufacturer, and as part Intermagnetics, Philips also acquired Invivo, another leading coil manufacturer.

Siemens Medical Solutions has a coil refurbishing division. Nealie Hartman, clinical marketing manager, MRI Division, Malvern, PA, believes that there are some risks when you deal with an independent company. She feels that quality standards come into play with refurbished coils, and a reliable MR coil repair company should follow the standards of repair and remanufacture of a quality product. "We do service our coils to those standards," says Hartman, "however, there is also a market for refurbished coils to meet the needs of hospitals and imaging centers that simply can't afford new ones."

Siemens carries a complete range of standard and specialized MR coils, including the new TIM technology (Total Imaging Matrix). TIM coils eliminate the need for patient repositioning and manual coil changes.

The new advances in the MR system complexity has created the relatively new market for refurbished coils. When coils are refurbished, it usually entails repairing the electronic and mechanical parts, re-tuning, and aesthetic refinishing the product so it looks like new, and performs like new.

Dr. Chen, R&D Director,
and Abby Jones, R&D Associate,
Resonance Innovations, reviewing
the design of a 16
channel pediatric head
spine array.

Greg Pearson, VP for MagnaServ, Inc., Stuart, FL, states that his company sends all coils to the OEMs for repairs. He believes that this ensures the coils will perform to OEM specification. "We outsource all coil repair to guarantee the highest quality standards and best over all warranty in the industry," said Pearson. He feels that a hospital can pay, on average, half the cost of new when buying a refurbished MR coil from MagnaServ, and still get the same quality.
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